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Range Fuels starts biomass facility
11.15 Range Fuels
Celebrating Range Fuels groundbreaking ceremonies in Soperton are, Georgia Forestry Commission Forester Risher Willard, GFC Interim Director Robert Farris and GFC board member Fred Warnell. - photo by Photo submitted

Fred Warnell, member of the Georgia Forestry Commission board of directors, attended the historic groundbreaking for the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant last Tuesday. More than 700 people joined the celebration near Soperton to welcome Range Fuels as a landmark corporate neighbor.

In a ceremony at the building site, Gov. Sonny Perdue proclaimed Georgia as the Bioenergy Corridor - The Nation’s Path to Renewable Energy.  

“Range Fuels executives chose to build the plant in Georgia because of our extensive forest resources,” said Warnell.

“Georgia’s outstanding stewardship of the land adds to the solid foundation needed to launch this exciting new venture.”

As a member of the GFC Board, Warnell provides the agency with guidance and support.

“The Georgia Forestry Commission’s forest energy program is being proactive in developing innovative methods for advancing the use of forest biomass,” Warnell said. “Its assistance in providing information to potential users and providers of biomass is of huge value to Georgia.”

The state hopes tree farmers can supplement timber revenue by selling their otherwise unusable wood waste as fuel to alternative energy plants.

“With 60 percent of Georgia’s forests owned by families and individuals,” Warnell said, “it is important to find additional markets for income to make forestland ownership economically viable. Converting waste from the harvesting of pine trees into vehicle fuel is just the beginning.”